Polk County five-year-old boy killed in ATV crash

Child's father hospitalized
Posted at 9:39 PM, Nov 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-14 02:16:54-05

A Polk County family is in mourning after a five-year-old little boy was killed was riding an ATV with his dad.  That father is still hospitalized.

Joshua Heard was riding his ATV with his five-year-old son Eli on his lap down a dirt road in rural Lakeland, which is marked with "no trespassing" signs.  But neighbors say while they might've broken the rules, their hearts ache for the family involved.

"It's horrible, horrible.  That's just the worst.  19:35:58 And I cannot imagine losing a little one," said neighbor Charles Kaiser.

Kaiser saw the ATV flipped over, surrounded by deputies, and knew it wasn't good.

"It's unfortunate what has happened in this incident but that's why land owners can't have people riding on their property because accidents happen," Kaiser siad.

Deputies say Josh Heard was trying to make a u-turn on the road when he sped up over a grass mound, and a tire support arm broke, causing the ATV to roll several times.  Josh and his son Eli flew off the ATV.  Josh has serious injuries, including several broken ribs, but his little boy didn't survive.

"I feel real, real sorry for them.  Because I saw always the kid coming out from the bus, and they are a good father and good mother.  They're always with the kids," said neighbor Oseliz Rodriguez.

Rodriguez saw the two driving their four wheeler onto the road Saturday afternoon.  She thought it was strange, because in three years, she's never seen them do that.

"The kid is always inside the yard, not outside.  Never," Rodriguez said.

Now neighbors are praying for the family and hoping Josh Heard is able to make a full recovery.